Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Valley of Death for the Liberal Democrats

Today Nick Clegg announced in a speech that he believed that by the end of this Parliament we would have a "Liberal Britain", Problem is I doubt the Liberal Democrats will be apart of it.

During the election many found themselves gripped by Clegg Fever only to discover the hopes of a Lib Dem surge was but a fever dream. Now the Lib Dems find themselves sharing the flak as the austerity cuts come into play and their grassroots have discovered allergies to coalitions with the Conservatives.

From people i've spoke to there seems to be a general consensus, "I won;t be voiting Lib Dem again" But where will all these votes go? If we saw anything during the election it was a definite rise in people interested in politics, so where will all the lib dem voters go?

I think that this presents a great opportunity for some of the smaller parties such as the Liberal Party and the Greens. With a concentrated effort on their part we could see a shift from Lib Dems to the smaller parties in the English Local and Celtic Devolved elections.

Of course the Lib Dems have already employed a measure to stay relevant in the eyes of the public, The referendum on voting reform, by holding it on the same day as the other elections the Lib Dems hope to capitalise on their position as front runners in the yes camp to hold onto their seats.

There some more problems on the horizon though.

The Lib Dems are now linked with the Tories in a way no other party (Even the UUP) is linked. Immediately this will cause problems for the small LibDem contingent in Scotland, while the Lib Dems have enjoyed minor success in Scotland, they are now in with the party that has all but given up in the elections North of the Border. With Tory surrender in Scotland all but official the Lib Dems may also find themselves punished. The only glimmer of hope would be that all the Tory voters give up on the Scottish Conservative party and back their coalition partners to make the Scottish parliament a more Friendly place, this however is extremely unlikely.

In Wales, where the party is small they face a Conservative surge which may result in their senior partner inadvertently demolishing them alongside increased pressure from Labour who will be looking to take overall control in Wales next year and a ever persistent push of Plaid Cymru who will want to make sure they stay in a position of power.

It could be said that the Liberal Democrats face the same question Labour were being asked in the General election, it's not if we're going to lose, it's "Who are we going to lose to?"

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